On Saturday, May 22, thirty-one sculptures— representing over $300,000 of art from renowned artists throughout the country—will be installed as a part of the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour’s tenth anniversary celebration. The Mankato Area Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor of this year’s special exhibition which showcases new and original works of art in a variety of styles, scales and mediums. To commemorate the anniversary, history and significance of CityArt, a variety of activities to engage community members and visitors of all ages are planned.

Children and adults alike will enjoy a special coloring book created by CityArt featuring the People’s Choice winning sculptures from the past ten years. This fun book, along with crayons, will be distributed by City Center restaurants and businesses. The Blue Earth and Nicollet County Libraries are holding a bookmark design contest with prizes, donated by Dino’s Pizza, being awarded in a variety of age group categories. Weather permitting, the libraries will have tables set up in the City Center on the morning of May 22 for kids to create bookmark designs highlighting CityArt. Top winning designs will be printed and distributed by the libraries in the weeks ahead. The Mankato Brewery is honoring the anniversary with a summer brew packaged in custom six-packs featuring photos of award-winning sculptures throughout the years.  The six-packs will be available this summer at area liquor stores. CityArt is also creating a commemorative video including interviews with various community and business leaders discussing the history, importance and success of this unique public art program. In addition to these special activities, this year’s exhibition will again include the popular scavenger hunt and audio tour.

Activities and events around this year’s tenth anniversary are intended to not only to celebrate CityArt, but to inform the public about the important contributions it has made to our community’s vitality and vibrancy. Since CityArt’s first walking sculpture tour in 2011, nearly $4 million in sculptures have been shown on our city streets, sixteen sculptures have been sold to private individuals or businesses and twenty-seven sculptures have been added to Greater Mankato’s permanent public art collection. This type of large-scale public art programming would not be possible without the financial and in-kind investment from businesses, the city of Mankato and North Mankato, foundations and individuals. The overwhelming positive response from the community has allowed the CityArt program to expand into several additional public art initiatives including CityArt On the Go (traffic signal box murals), the Mni Mural (flood wall mural) and Silo Art—turning Greater Mankato into a major arts and cultural destination.

Over the past ten years the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour has been enjoyed by thousands of local citizens and visitors alike and is identified as one of our community’s top-rated attractions.  “It is extremely gratifying to see the amazing success and growth of CityArt,” said Tami Paulsen, CityArt Committee Chairperson. Paulsen, who was co-founder of CityArt and committee chairperson during the program’s first years, returned to chair the committee in 2020. “The Walking Sculpture Tour and other CityArt initiatives have fulfilled our original vision, to help spur downtown revitalization and make Greater Mankato a more beautiful, inviting and vibrant community. City Center Mankato looks and feels significantly different than it did a decade ago,” she added.

CityArt is a joint program of the City Center Partnership and Twin Rivers Council for the Arts.  For more information about CityArt and this year’s Walking Sculpture Tour, please visit www.cityartmankato.com